The Organic Wine Guide: The Best Eco-friendly Drops In Food and Wine Country
Hawke's Bay is one of the best places in New Zealand to grow fruit, produce and make wine - including organic wine. It's got it all - the climate, terroir, location, and people with a passion for the land.
Why organic wine? Organic vineyards and wineries grow grapes in harmony with nature and find alternative ways to combat pests without the use of pesticides, fungicides and other harmful chemicals. Organic helps to protect our environment, encourage biodiversity, supports workers' health and helps counteract climate change.
Organic wine production is strong in New Zealand. Currently, more than 10% of New Zealand wineries hold organic certification, including 10 wineries in Hawke's Bay.
While organic cellar doors are unique, they can be found tucked away in Food and Wine Country offering some of the best wine you've ever tasted!
Organic Cellar Doors
The first stop is Te Awanga Estate, located on the coast with sea breezes, coastal loams and salty air. It's a popular spot for wine lovers throughout the year. This winery started its organic journey in 2013, with 100% of its grapes now grown organically with around 50% BioGro Certified and 50% in conversion. The exceptional maritime climate ensures bright acidity and a long growing season, producing Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The grapes demonstrate the ebb and flow of living within a healthy ecosystem, producing fruit with character and individuality. A result of the vines being challenged to look after themselves rather than relying on synthetic sprays. These are the kind of grapes that tell a story.
Discover Te Awanga Estate with Coastal Wine Cycles, a young, dynamic, fun company that loves cycling and wine, offer bicycle hire just down the road. It's about 15 minutes along the coastal road with IG-ready panoramas of Cape Kidnappers. Once you've made your way down Te Awanga Estate's long gravel driveway, it's time to nosh your way across the wine tasting and grazing menus. It doesn't get much better than that!
About 20 minutes’ drive inland is Bridge Pa Triangle, one of Hawke’s Bay’s iconic wine growing districts. It is here that you will find organic winery Ash Ridge, a small winery with a big reputation.
Ten thousand years ago the Ngaruroro River gently wound its way through the valley and over time it changed its course leaving gravel soils and low fertile land. This land has now been transformed into Ash Ridge organic vineyard and winery. The low vigour site is perfect for the production of premium Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Hot summer days and long cool autumns maximise ripeness, making for wonderfully complex wines.
Ash Ridge organic winery and cellar door overlooks a vista of grapevines towards Roy’s Hill and the Ruahine Ranges. The cellar door offers a superb wine tasting experience Thursday - Sunday at 11 am. To do a tasting you can book online or arrive ahead of time. Their tasting menu changes monthly, with six delicious wines available to try for just $10. Or drop by the cellar door between 10 am - 5 pm and enjoy one of the tasty platters or pizzas, made from fresh, local ingredients perfectly paired with a fantastic range of organic wine.
On Yer Bike Winery Tours is an excellent way to explore the Bridge Pa Triangle and Gimblett Gravel's wine districts. Hire bikes and create your own winery bike tour with their self-guided tour!
Just five minutes down the road (or 15 minutes by bike) you'll find Stonecroft Winery - a small, family-owned winery making organic wine in Gimblett Gravels. Dermot McCollum and Andria Monin, took over Stonecroft vineyards and winery in 2010, converting it to 100% organic production. Dermot and Andria are hands-on, managing the vineyards, winery and cellar door themselves.
The family-owned and operated winery is a small operation, with two vineyards plus an onsite winery. Established in 1982, Stonecroft has the oldest Syrah vines in New Zealand. As well as being well known for Syrah, Stonecroft produce Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot blends, Zinfandel, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay wines. Everything from pruning to harvesting is carried out by hand, with love and care put into every bunch.
The rustic cellar door is open over Summer (October - June) Friday - Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm (plus additional days in December and January). You will get to meet one of the owners at the cellar door and taste a beautiful selection of organic wines. Stonecroft organic wines are intense, elegant and fruit-driven, and are known to age extremely well! The Stonecroft Wine Club is another way you can taste their fabulous wines remotely. Receive your favourite organic wine delivered to your door every three, six or 12 months. Stonecroft Winery is also an official partner of The Hawke's Bay Trails and welcomes cyclists, picnickers and children.
4. Amoise Wines
Artisanal wine, made with no additions or adulterations of any kind. Certified organic grapes sourced locally in Hawke's Bay with values surrounding responsible farming, improving the health of the soils and what we put into our bodies.
Supernatural Wine Co. is a producer of certified organic, naturally vinified, low sulphur white and skin-fermented white wines from a north-facing hillside estate in Hawke's Bay by winemaker and viticulturist Hayden Penny.
Bostock Grapes are hand-picked to produce the finest Hawke’s Bay wine. The Bostock philosophy is focused on sustainable farming – growing grapes in partnership with nature and protecting the environment.
Halcyon Days wine is made with organic grapes from BioGro certified vineyards in Mangatahi and Bridge Pa subregions of Hawke's Bay. Both vineyards are loam over gravel alluvial soils formed by the braided Ngaruroro river. Our fruit is handpicked, naturally fermented, and the wines have no additions.
8. Osawa Wines
Inland and at a slightly higher altitude, the vineyard enjoys cooler nights and warm days which make it ideal for growing the superb grapes. A busy vineyard producing 250,000 bottles of wine a year with 4 wine labels producing 11 varieties of wine from Sav' and Pinot to sticky dessert wines and celebratory bubbles.
In 2007 Villa Maria achieved the internationally recognised BioGro Organic Certification for a 21-hectare block in Hawkes Bay. Their Earth Garden range is organically grown, bursting with life and with flavour as nature intended.
William Murdoch produces fine, handmade wines of character and distinction that reflects the unique terroir. Based in the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels region of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, William Murdoch’s organic vineyard and winery produce wines that are beautifully elegant, yet powerful and concentrated.
Why not check out the 70+ wineries and cellar doors in Hawke's Bay!
Drinking wine is about connection, love and family, and by supporting organic you are supporting a more sustainable future for our planet.